Edited Favela Map Returns to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Rotation

October 23, 2012 -

Earlier this month some Muslims in the Call of Duty community complained that the Favela multiplayer map in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was offensive because a painting placed above a toilet had holy teachings written around its frame "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty."

| Read more

Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam Announced

May 30, 2012 -

Players will soon be able to play as the Muslim rulers in upcoming downloadable content for Crusader Kings II, Sword of Islam. Paradox Interactive said that the new DLC will be released at about the same time as an upcoming update that will add new features to the game, such as an expansion of the map into Mali-Songhay, differentiation on strong and weak claims, a new plot, expanded combat and more. With this new playable faction, Paradox says that "laws, marriage, holding, traits, titles and more will work completely differently."

| Read more

Former GTA Director Plans Game Based on Iran's Islamic Revolution

August 11, 2011 -

The former director of the Grand Theft Auto series, Navid Khonsari, is working on a new game that will explore Iran's Islamic Revolution. The game is called 1979 and will be set in an open world where protagonists can make moral choices that affect what is going on around him. Khonsari, who worked on Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, spoke to CNN about his plans for the game recently and why it is important to him.

6 comments | Read more

Former Rockstar Developer Working on 1979: The Game

February 17, 2011 -

Navid Khonsari, a former writer and director for Rockstar Games, is working on an interesting game that retells the real story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran, Iran. Khonsari is responsible for the "cinematic feel" introduced in Rockstar's breakout hit, Grand Theft Auto 3, and for his work on Remedy's Max Payne series and Alan Wake. After leaving Rockstar, Khonsari formed Ink Stories with his wife in New York City.

Speaking to Russia Today (interview on the left), Khonsari said that he wants to tell the story of the Iranian Revolution with a focus on the U.S. Embassy takeover that ultimately led to the Iran Hostage Crisis. Khonsari wants to tell a deep story based on different perspectives from a multitude of playable characters:

5 comments | Read more

A Games Rating System Based on Islamic Law

November 29, 2010 -

The Index Conferences and Exhibitions Organization and the Iran National Foundation of Computer Games announced a new Islamic-based ratings system for video games during a press conference held at the Dubai World Game Expo this week. The ratings system, the Entertainment Software Rating Association (ESRA) was created by a research team at the National Foundation of Computer Game.

"The approach of Islam is based on Human being innateness 'Al Fitra,' and the most important innate trends are truth, virtue, benevolence, excellence tendency, innovation and creativity," said Dr. Behrouz Minaei, the Managing Director at Iran National Foundation of Computer Games. "That's why we made sure that ESRA team are proficient in these areas; Religion, Psychopathology, Educational psychology, Social psychology, Sociology of the family, Family Sociology, Emotional Psychology, Family therapy and Educational technology."

Posted in
5 comments | Read more

Islamist Group in Somalia Bans Video Games

January 28, 2010 -

Video games are taking it on the chin again as an Islamist group in Somalia has banned them because of the damage it was causing to the "social fabric" of the country, according to an article from the AFP.

Apparently, games are fairly popular around Mogadishu and teens would gather at cybercafes to play PlayStation games for 30 minutes at a time. Villages that had these centers were ordered to close them. The order came in a statement from Hezb al-Islam:

"Starting two days after this statement's date of issue, all video game playing centres in the areas under Hezb al-Islam control should be closed and playing video games will be prohibited. Video games are designed in such a way that they destroy our social traditions and for that reason, anybody found ignoring this order will be punished and equipment will be confiscated."

The local youth were obviously frustrated:

"We used to watch movies. They were banned. Now the PlayStations we had fun with are also banned. This country is not for young people like me," said Abdirahman Hirsi, a 19-year-old from Lafole town.

"They have basically banned everything that is fun, so we feel increasingly bored," said another boy.

GP: Taking away entertainment from the youth could be a masked attempt by the insurgents to gain more fodder for their war machine. An older resident of the village surmised as such:

"Who knows what else the children are going to do now. It's not as if there was proper education for them. The more they are prevented from playing, the more likely they are to join the fighting."

So let me get this straight: Video games destroy societies, but it is OK for young kids to fight and die for real? Right ...

Posted in
24 comments

Conservative Mag Calls Upcoming Gitmo Title "Al Qaeda's Xbox Fantasy Game"

June 2, 2009 -

Rendition: Guantanamo, an upcoming Xbox 360 and PC game, has come under fire from The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication owned by Rupert Murdoch.

In a blog entry The Weekly Standard's Thomas Joscelyn writes:

One of the more popular former [Guantanamo] detainees is Moazzam Begg, who regularly appears in anti-American documentaries on television... Begg is a big hit with the global left... Begg is upping the ante by trying to win even more hearts and minds with an Xbox videogame...

 

By the sound of it, the videogame will allow users to pretend they are Gitmo inmates shooting at American servicemen... The director of the firm that is producing the game, Zarrar Chishti, denies this, of course, saying that “no US or British soldiers get killed in it.” Chisti claims: “The only ones being killed are mercenaries.”

Right...

Joscelyn writes in detail about Moazzam Begg (left), linking him to reports of jihadist beliefs and Al Qaeda training:

[Begg's] release [from Guantanamo] by the personal intervention of President Bush... was done, many think, as a political palliative to his friend and war supporter British prime minister Tony Blair, who was under much criticism at the time for not demanding immediate release of all British citizens held at Guantanamo...

Begg’s propaganda efforts will now include a disgusting video game in which Begg... gets to target “mercenaries” -- in reality, stand-ins for American servicemen...

Meanwhile, CBS News reports that Zarrar Chisti expects Rendition: Guantanamo to sell well in the Middle East. Begg, who has a financial stake in the game, said that his earnings will be donated to a charity devoted to the rights of Guantanamo detainees.

UPDATE: Gawker reports that Microsoft has denied knowledge of Rendition: Guantanamo. That's a key piece of information, since MS would have to license the game for it to appear on the 360. From Gawker:

In a statement, Microsoft said: "We are unaware of this game and have not been contacted by this developer. As such, we don't have enough details about the game to even comment about it."

More info upcoming...

35 comments

Does Punch-Out!! Character Shout Islamic Phrase?

June 2, 2009 -

A few months back there was a minor uproar surrounding "Islam is the light," a phrase which some people thought they heard uttered by both a talking baby doll and a children's DS game.

In a video posted late last week on YouTube, a man claims that a character in Nintendo's recently-released Wii title Punch-Out!! shouts "Allah Akbar," an Arabic phrase which translates to "God is great."

RevolutionOfCG, who describes himself as a conservative pundit in his YouTube profile, posted the clip of fighter Bald Bull and equates the character's supposed utterance of the phrase with terrorism:

Allah Akbar or God Is Great. For those of you that don't understand the implications of this. Let me put it to you this way. Virtually Every Muslim Terrorist has said this before they blew themselves up or in the case of 9-11, before they slammed into buildings...

Hailing from Istanbul Turkey, if we are to understand the implications of culture, Bald Bull is more than likely a Muslim...

 

Not even 8 years after 9-11 and are we going to accept this phrase in a video game Rated E for Everyone. What do the families of these heinous crimes think of this? Someone out there has to be appalled, I'm certain of that.

The narration of the video includes 9/11 footage of the second plane striking the World Trade Center. As to the phrase Allah Akbar, its Wikipedia page lists a variety of uses other than by terrorists:

This phrase is recited by Muslims in numerous different situations. For example, when they are happy or wish to express approval, when they want to praise a speaker, during battles, and even times of extreme stress or euphoria. It is also used by bombers or suicide bombers before they detonate.

The phrase is said during each stage of both obligatory prayers, which are supposed to be performed five times a day, and supererogatory prayers, which are performed at will...

That's, of course, assuming that Bald Bull actually says Allah Akbar, which is unconfirmed at this point.

Via: VC Review

111 comments

Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo Game

May 26, 2009 -

A British Muslim who spent three years in the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention facility is serving as a consultant on the upcoming Xbox 360 and PC game Rendition: Guantanamo, according to Deadline Scotland.

As GamePolitics reported in March, Rendition: Guantanamo centers around a near-future version of the controversial prison in which mercenaries are in control and scientists conduct experiments on detainees.

Moazzam Begg (left), who was picked up as a suspected Al Qaeda member by Coalition forces in Pakistan, is assisting Glasgow-based game developer T-Enterprise. Begg claims to have been tortured during his stay at Guantanamo. T-Enterprise exec Zarrar Chishti commented on Begg's participation in the project:

We approached Moazzam because it’s very hard for us to know how to design the layout of the prison and he helped. He came up two weeks ago to give his input on what we were working on...

Due to the controversial subject matter, T-Enterprise appears eager not to step on any official toes. Deadline Scotlan reports that the developer had sought advice and permissions from law enforcement and political officials. Chisti explained:

There are certain rules we can’t break after meeting politicians so we are not making the game too extreme. We have had a lot of hate mail about this, mainly from America...

 

But no US or British soldiers get killed in [the game]. The only ones being killed are mercenaries. We have set it in January 2010 because that’s when we think the camp will be closed. We are making a statement. We did not want Guantanamo to be forgotten.

Begg, who wrote a book about his time at Guantanamo, has a financial stake in the project. He spoke of his time detention:

I was put in solitary confinement with no access to the outside world and no explanation as to why I was being detained. My wife gave birth to my son six months after I was arrested and I saw him for the first time when he was three years old. It would be wrong to say I’m not angry but I’m willing to forgive 1000 times over...

The only thing I am concerned about it making sure the game does not misrepresent the prisoners. This will not demean the reality of Guantanamo but it could bring those issues to people who would not usually think about it.

19 comments

In Defiance of Islamic Protest, Faith Fighter Rises From the Dead

May 1, 2009 -

It has been a whirlwind of a week for Italian provovateurs Molleindustria and Faith Fighter, their online game which parodies religious hatred.

On Monday Metro UK created a controversy where none previously existed. It appears that the tabloid solicited comment from several religious leaders whose level of familiarity with the game is unclear. Not surprisingly, the comments on Faith Fighter were negative.

By Tuesday, the powerful, Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference had waded into the Faith Fighter debate. Molleindustria, apparently bowing to OIC pressure, announced that it had taken the game offline, although it remained available at other portals.

On Wednesday, Molleindustria unveiled Faith Fighter 2, a non-violent version in which players must give love to various deities lest they fade away.

On Thursday, Molleindustria brought the original Faith Fighter back. There's no word yet on what actions the OIC or other groups may take.

Via: GameCulture

48 comments

Following Islamic Protest, It's Game Over for Faith Fighter

April 28, 2009 -

In the wake of yesterday's controversy, Italian game provacateurs Molleindustria have pulled their Faith Fighter game from public view.

Although it was released more than a year ago, Faith Fighter was not on the mainstream media's radar until yesterday's Metro UK reported that religious leaders of various stripes were outraged by the game, which features Mortal Kombat-like matches between deities of several popular religions.

As the controversy grew, the Associated Press reported today that the influential, Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference had called for the removal of Faith Fighter from the Internet. Accoring to the AP, the OIC called the game "incendiary in its content" and "offensive to Muslims and Christians."

In a message posted on the Faith Fighter website, Molleindustri's Paolo Pedercini blames Metro UK for "manufacturing" the controversy:

Faith Fighter was meant to be a game against intolerance that used over the top irony and a cartoonish style to express the instrumental use of religions.

Faith Fighter depicted in a mildly politically incorrect way all the major religions as a response to the one-way islamophobic satire of the Danish Mohammad cartoons.

If an established organization didn't understand the irony and the message of the game and is claiming it is inciting intolerance, we simply failed.

We suspect that people at OIC never played the game and only referred to the article on Metro UK that successfully manufactured this controversy.

Molleindustria also stopped by GamePolitics to post a comment on the controversy.

64 comments

Can Muslim Superheroes Turn Islamic Youth Away from Radicalism?

February 16, 2009 -

With an increasing emphasis on fantasy entertainment provided by mobile phone games, comic books and TV, there is some hope that radicalism will become a less attractive path for Islamic youth.

Wael El-Zanaty, an exec with the Egyptian firm behind cell phone game Bab el-Hara, told the Associated Press:

The best thing about this game is that this is something that Arabs can relate to. It’s about part of [Arab] history — the resistance to the French occupation [of Syria]... We wanted something that reflected our culture... developed with an Arab perspective.

The AP explains:

The Arab world’s private sector is leading a push to provide Muslim and Arab youth with homegrown heroes, as a bulwark against the trend toward radical Islam throughout the Middle East.

Clearly, superheroes won’t offset all the problems that stoke radicalism — anger at corrupt Arab regimes and at Israel over its treatment of Palestinians — but El-Zanaty said he hoped these pop culture characters could give young people a positive image of themselves as Arabs.

Meanwhile, Naif al-Mutawa, publisher of The 99 comic book superhero series, offered his view on how media can help deliver positive role models for Arab youth:

Our [Islamic] story has become [more] about what not to do, than about what to do. I wanted to … go back to the same sources others have pulled out a lot of negative ideas from, and pull out positive, tolerant, multicultural, accepting ideas.

I’m not trying to sell religion here. I’m trying to sell the idea that at the values level, we’re all the same...’  I really think that we [Arabs] limit ourselves with this catastrophic thinking that the world is controlled by others and there is nothing we can do. I think this is rubbish.

Mobile phone apps may be the ideal platform upon which to deliver the message, said Ayman Shoukry of the Good News Group:

[In Egypt alone] there are 40 million mobiles. We don’t have 40 million [other types of] devices anywhere in Egypt."

18 comments

Kuwaiti Imam Urges Creation of Games to "Slaughter Jews"

February 2, 2009 -

In a 2006 interview with Kuwait TV, an Islamic religious leader issued a call for computer games which require players to "slaughter Jews."

We don't have the exact air date of the video at left, although a Washington Post article from September of 2006 references the video.

We're presenting it now because this is the first time that GP has located the actual footage. Among Imam Nabil Al Awadi's remarks:

As their games corrupt our morals, now they are making games with their current wars.

Their wars, that are not Islamic, in Islamic countries have turned into a computer games. When the child plays, he adopts a character that is not Islamic, that kills Muslims.

Why, gentlemen, should it not be the opposite? Why can't we produce a few games like these? Why can't we make games that instead of teaching children how to slaughter the Muslims, they can teach them how to free the Al-Aqsa mosque. The child will play and slaughter Jews and others.

Not only children, but adults too, will kill heretics and free the Al Aqsa mosque. There are games with pit battles, it's nice!

Along with Al Awadi's comments, a narrator shows clips and explains Islamic-themed battle games.

GP: While the clip is somewhat dated, it shows the extent to which video games are seen by some as a vehicle to politicize - and militarize - youth.

Via: Jumpcut

54 comments

Penny Arcade is the Light...

February 2, 2009 -

Last week, GamePolitics reported on the case of an Indiana mother who complained that her daughter's Baby Pals Nintendo DS game uttered the phrase "Islam is the light."

Our exclusive follow-up with publisher Crave Entertainment explained how developers added the game's audio files and why the "Islam" line is little more than an auditory illusion.

Now, the Penny Arcade crew has waded into the controversy in their inimitable way. Hit the PA link for the full cartoon...

GP: Big thanks to longtime reader CyberSkull for the tip!!

16 comments

Publisher Responds to "Islam is the Light" DS Game Controversy

January 29, 2009 -

Earlier this week GamePolitics reported on an Indiana mother's complaint that her daughter's Baby Pals game for the Nintendo DS uttered the phrase "Islam is the light."

We asked Crave Entertainment, which publishes Baby Pals, to comment on the claims, which mirror a similar controversy involving a Fisher-Price doll last autumn.

We've just received a response from Crave's Marketing Director, Doug Panter:

In creating the Nintendo DS game “Baby Pals”, the game developer Brain Toys / InXile used sounds files to simulate the life like baby noises and babbling.  The sounds are publicly available for license.  It is a recording of a 5 month old baby babbling non-intelligible phrases.  In over 200 hours of testing the product, no recognizable English words or phrases were discernable.  

The sound in question of this babble may sound like the words night, right or light, but it is only coincidence as the baby recorded was too young to pronounce these words let alone a whole grammatically correct phrase.

We at Crave Entertainment and InXile regret that there was any misinterpretation of the baby noises and in no way have intentionally put any words or phrases into the baby sounds.

We hope this eases any concerns and fans continue to enjoy playing the game.

GP: Crave's explanation that it licensed the baby talk sound file helps make sense of how "Islam is the Light" plagued the Little Mommy Cuddle and Coo doll as well. Fisher-Price probably licensed the same audio.

38 comments

Upcoming Strategy Game Designed to Show Islam in a Positive Light

January 28, 2009 -

A Syrian developer is creating a game that it hopes will boost the image of Islam, reduce tensions with the West and encourage pride among young Muslims.

That's a pretty tall order for a computer game.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Al-Quraysh, due for a September release, is being developed by Damascus-based Afkar Media. From the CSM's description, it sounds like the type of build-and-fight game that will be instantly familiar to Western fans of the historical strategy genre:

Al-Quraysh is a strategy game that tells the story of the first 100 years of Islam's history from the viewpoint of four different nations - Bedouins, Arabs, Persians, and Romans.

One can choose to command any of the armies of the four nations or lead the army of the main character, Khaled Ibn Waleed, a Muslim warrior who defeated the Roman and Persian empires and never lost a battle. Or one can play the role of the Bedouin sheikh, who must earn the respect of his tribe. The player has the task of building and protecting trade routes and water sources, building armies, conducting battles, and freeing slaves.

Akkar Media exec Radwan Kasmiya commented on the game:

Al-Quraysh is going to help people in the West better understand the people who are living in the East. We want to show that this civilization was a sort of practical and almost heavenly civilization...

I get very embarrassed by the way we [Muslims] are showing our civilization. There were rational laws that were governing Muslims at that time [on which the game is based]. This allowed this civilization to last for a long time and to accept the other civilizations that they came in touch with...

 

Most video games on the market are anti-Arab and anti-Islam. Arab gamers are playing games that attack their culture, their beliefs, and their way of life. The youth who are playing the foreign games are feeling guilt... But we also don't want to do [a game] about Arabs killing Westerners.

Via: Inside Arab Gaming

37 comments

Indiana Mom: "Islam is the Light" Message in Child's Nintendo DS Game

January 27, 2009 -

GameCulture reports on the strange case of an Indiana mother who has complained that her 8-year-old daughter's Baby Pals game for the Nintendo DS speaks the phrase "Islam is the light."

Readers may recall that a remarkably similar controversy last fall centered around Fisher-Price's Little Mommy Cuddle and Coo doll. And, in fact, the mother in this case, Rachel Jones, was also one of those who complained about her child's Cuddle and Coo doll.

In regard to the doll controversy, Mattel issued a statement in October which said that the only scripted word was "mama" and other baby talk sounds were gibberish.

Urban Legends reports that an audio expert experimented with the Cuddle and Coo doll and found that the phrase most closely sounded like "It's not near the light."

In fairness, the sound uttered by the DS game sounds exactly like the one that caused so much controversy in regard to the doll. We're wondering if Crave, publisher of Baby Pals, somehow licensed the same digitized audio file.

GP: So, is this a case of anti-Islamic paranoia or subtle indoctrination of America's youth? What do you think, GP readers?

126 comments

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
MaskedPixelanteDid Capcom ever give us a timeline for when they planned on putting the Megaman stuff on Wii U?07/27/2014 - 2:23pm
MaskedPixelanteIf by "distance themselves from Google Plus" you mean "forcing Google Plus integration in everything", then yes, they are distancing themselves from Google Plus.07/26/2014 - 12:20pm
MechaTama31I wish they would distance G+ from the Play Store, so I could leave reviews and comments again.07/26/2014 - 11:03am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician